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Kim and Terry Pegula: a primer on the Buffalo Bills' pending owners

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What do you need to know about Kim and Terry Pegula - pending new owners of the Buffalo Bills - to sound smart around the water cooler? It's all in this story.

Bruce Bennett

Pending NFL approval and other formalities, the Buffalo Bills will be sold to Kim and Terry Pegula, current owners of the Buffalo Sabres. More details on the nature of the transaction will eventually emerge; for now, let's talk about the two people that, arguably, are now the foremost figures in Buffalo sports history.

Pegula, 63, is the founder of East Resources, striking it rich in the natural gas industry before selling the company to Royal Dutch Shell for $4.7 billion. (He'd later sell off further assets to American Energy - largely land holdings - for a further $1.75 billion.) That wealth preceded a recent deep dive into the world of professional sports.

Kim Pegula is a Fairport, NY native and a Houghton College alumnus. The Pegulas fronted $12 million for the Kerr-Pegula Sports Complex at Houghton, a footnote often forgotten when discussing their sports philanthropy. The duo has also put up $102 million for the Pegula Ice Arena at Penn State University, and more locally, a cool $170 million for the HARBORcenter, a hockey-themed development on the waterfront in Buffalo.

In 2011, Pegula purchased the Buffalo Sabres from Tom Golisano for $189 million. They also own the Sabres' minor league affiliate, the Rochester Americans, and the NLL's Buffalo Bandits.

In the time since their Sabres purchase, the HARBORCenter project has taken off, Pegula Sports and Entertainment grew (they have sports agency holdings, with employees that represent some of the biggest names in pro sports), and following the death of Bills founder Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. in March of 2014, the Pegulas began their pursuit of the team.

These are Western New York people - Kim, specifically - that have poured hundreds of millions of dollars (and soon, over a billion more) into the region. For as long as the Pegulas hold the team, the Bills will remain in Buffalo, teamed up with the Sabres and the rest of their investments to give Buffalo sports its brights future in years - and perhaps ever.